Monday, August 11, 2008

Soft We're Not


In 1984, two years after the launch of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer, the BBC's commercial arm BBC Enterprises decided to capitalise on the British software boom by creating their own label; BBC Software.

The idea was simple. The BBC would release games based on its most popular programmes; Bergerac, All Creatures Great and Small, 'Allo 'Allo!, Doctor Who, Match of the Day and many more but the company was not a success. After poor sales and much controversy BBC Software was wound up in 1986.

The first wave of releases consisted of three games; The Borgias, an uninspiring platform game; Match of the Day; and The World at War.

The World at War was an acclaimed documentary series originally made in 1973 for Thames television but now owned by the BBC. The game placed the player in the role of Winston Churchill with a long and dangerous journey ahead of him to victory in Berlin (Click the screenshot above for a larger view).

Priced at £9.99, at a time when most games retailed for £5.95, sales of all three titles were poor. The range had not got off to a good start.